Glacier Creates 172 Million in Economic Benefit

from NPS Glacier:

Graph from Report

Graph from Report

A new National Park Service report shows that approximately 2.2 million visitors to Glacier National Park in 2012 spent $172 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,754 jobs in the local area.

“We are honored and proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to Glacier National Park,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Glacier is a special place and many times visitors travel to Montana specifically to visit Glacier, and are introduced to the many other wonderful amenities that Montana, and Northwest Montana have to offer.”

National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. National park tourism is a large factor in the local economy as well. Mow said, “We are fortunate at Glacier National Park to be greatly supported by our partners, neighbors and local communities. We appreciate this partnership and support, and believe the presence of the park helps sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey  economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the  National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs  nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the United States’ economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and  convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast locations (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report, visit  The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Montana and how the National Park Service works with  Montana communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide
outdoor recreation, visit

4 thoughts on “Glacier Creates 172 Million in Economic Benefit

  1. I hate to see Mother Nature reduced to dollars and cents, but, unfortunately, on our society that seems to be what counts. If Mama is a money maker then it is less likely that we will destroy the land that feeds us, both physically and spiritually.
    That is good for us, but irrelevant to Mama.
    She will continue–with us or without us.

  2. I’m happy to see lots of visitors to the National Parks, but there’s also a sadness there. It allows many people to see part of the natural world, but in the hustle and bustle of a park, with wildlife that is accustomed to human traffic they are exposed to only part of nature. I hope the exposure to nature that they do get makes them more inclined to support undeveloped places as well.

    • There are so many wonderful national/state forests, state parks and other areas to explore, it’s a shame to limit one’s outdoor activities to the national parks. Your blog helps remind people there’s a lot out there to see.

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